Pallotti junior point guard Marquise Reed looked as if he wouldn’t be around for the end of Sunday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game at UMBC.
Reed picked up his fourth foul 16 seconds into the third quarter.
But there he was at the end, scoring a game-high 22 points to lead the second-seeded Panthers to a 62-55 victory over the fourth-seeded Greyhounds.
Gilman had beaten Pallotti by seven points in last year’s title game.
“After last year, they got a taste in their mouth for a championship,” Pallotti coach Shae Johnson said. “They really wanted it. They weren’t going to give it up.”
Marcus Scott chipped in 13 points for the winners and Jordan Preston added nine.
Gilman sophomore Kai Locksley, who fouled out with three minutes remaining, finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Ben Grace had 16 points.
Gilman made Pallotti (24-6) sweat the victory out after the Panthers had led by nine points late in the third quarter and by eight midway through the final period.
Matt Tilley trimmed the lead to 58-55 with 52 second remaining on Matt Tilley’s three-pointer.
Not much went right for the Greyhounds the rest of the way, however. They missed two shots, committed a turnover and failed to convert the front end of a one-and-one from the free throw line.
As Gilman (16-16) struggled after Tilley's basket, the Panthers started to pull away. They sank four straight free throws, including getting two from Reed.
"We were down three and missed the front end of the one-and-one," said Gilman coach Owen Daly, whose team upset top-seeded Boys' Latin Friday in the semifinals, 60-57. "We would have been down one with a chance to win. That's often the difference in a game. You make your foul shots and convert your opportunities. We were close. but we just didn't quite get there."